Updated TRiM guidance during the Coronavirus

Message from Pete Roberts, founder of the TRiM support model, regarding its delivery during the Coronavirus.

I have been contacted by several Emergency Services in our TRiM network with regard to TRiM interventions and the impact of Coronavirus on its delivery.

The situation is unprecedented and as such any suggestions I can make are based on taking a pragmatic approach noting personal safety and mental wellbeing.

With this in mind I would support that if there was a requirement for TRiM interventions with a member of the Emergency Services in our TRiM network who is self isolating, then if at all possible video conferencing (of any form) is the preference.

As a last resort it is better to offer telephone intervention rather than offer nothing. If this is the only option please note that in the absence of visual cues, which can often support our interpretation of emotions, further clarification may be needed to reduce possible misinterpretation of verbal responses.

Those who are taken out of their normal role to assist in this crisis may be placed in a “rescuer” role and later have the potential to ruminate on an aspect of the event if it has perceived negative outcomes. This can result in a distorted sense of responsibility and I would reaffirm that if you hear the person repeatedly use terms such as “If only, I could have, I should have” then a distorted level of guilt may be emerging. If this fails to reduce at the follow up I would suggest onward support is strongly recommended.

Another concern by workers may be a fear of personal contamination risk and its potential onward effect on those close to them. This is not an unreasonable concern but some may accelerate catastrophic thinking in the absence of any early testing.

Finally, over time there can be a degrading effect on psychological resilience for all those in an Emergency Services role if they are not able to (or do not wish to out of a sense of duty) disengage from role for rest periods and this will need to be actively recognised and managed accordingly.

Don’t underestimate the significant, positive impact your role as a TRiM practitioner can have at this time. Please also recognise that you are not invincible and if you need to vent or chat things through please give a member of the Health and Wellbeing team a call. The Employee Assistance programme is also available for you, should you need it. The Health and Wellbeing team really do appreciate the fantastic work you are doing, and are committed to keep doing.